Both beginner and more experienced runners often have a common goal: to learn how to run further and longer. It’s also a good resolution for the New Year: increase the time and, as a result, the distance you run. Running 30 minutes or 1 hour may seem like an unattainable goal, but we have good news for you: it is usually just a question of willpower and progression.


Regardless of your level, whether you are a beginner runner or a confirmed athlete, progression is essential when training to run longer or faster.

Why? Progression is essential to avoid injury; it gives your body - muscles, tendons, your heart - time to adapt to new intensity. Advance progressively, step by step and don’t cut corners. It’s just like watching a trilogy…you don't start with the last episode.

How to progress? Firstly, there is no point increasing your running distance or time with each training session. For example, if you run twice or three times per week, increase your distance during one of your weekly sessions and maintain your regular practice for your other training sessions. On the other hand, if you only run once a week, increase the intensity progressively: for example if you already run 30 to 45 minutes, increase by 5 to 10 minutes over a few weeks. Be patient!



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It may be reassuring, but it can also become boring to always run the same route with no variety or change in landscape. To increase your running time, try running your longest training session on a slightly hilly terrain. Running on a terrain with more slope will help you progress. You will find it easier to increase the duration of your running sessions as a result. This will also help to avoid injury, because your stride varies depending on whether the terrain is ascending or descending. And we all know, repeating the same movement can cause tendinitis, for example.



You have already realized, running longer is quite demanding psychologically. You are sure to feel discouraged or uncertain sometimes. So how do you stay motivated to keep progressing long term?

Running with others is one solution. It makes it easier to accept a certain degree of discomfort and to push yourself past milestones. It is also additional motivation in winter, when you’d rather stay warm inside. Running in a group boosts your motivation.All you have to do is find a person with a similar level to your own, who - even if they have more experience than you – will enjoy running with you to help you reach new milestones.

Running with a coach is also an excellent solution because they encourage you and give you advice. And when you have a coach, not turning up to training is not an option – even if it's a virtual coach!



Finally, don’t focus on your speed when trying to run longer. Your speed is not important – focus on your goal. Later, if you want, speed can become a criteria and there are many training plans on our site.

And even if you don’t run very fast, and if, by any chance, less active people dare to mock you…tell yourself you’re going faster than if you were on your couch, whatever your speed!

What’s your running goal for 2018?


Philippe Propage

This article was written by Philippe Propage, Kalenji coach and trainer of international athletes